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OffbeatKhashoggi friend sues Israeli firm over hacking he says contributed to the journalist’s murder

23:05  03 december  2018
23:05  03 december  2018 Source:   msn.com

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has sued an Israeli firm , saying its spyware gave Saudi Arabia access to his cellphone exchanges with his friend Jamal Khashoggi . The filing says Abdulaziz will argue that use of Pegasus spyware to expose his communications with Khashoggi contributed to the decision to murder him .

A friend of Jamal Khashoggi has reportedly filed a lawsuit against an Israeli software company alleging that its spyware led to the Saudi journalist ' s Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi dissident, claims that he received a text message in June with a link to track a package. He alleges that the firm , the NSO

Khashoggi friend sues Israeli firm over hacking he says contributed to the journalist’s murder© François Ollivier/For The Washington Post Saudi opposition activist Omar Abdulaziz, pictured in Montreal in October, has sued an Israeli firm, saying its spyware gave Saudi Arabia access to his cellphone exchanges with his friend Jamal Khashoggi.

JERUSALEM —A Canada-based Saudi activist filed suit this week against an Israeli cybersecurity firm, alleging that the Saudi government used the firm’s spyware to hack his cellphone and access sensitive conversations he conducted with slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Attorneys for Omar Abdulaziz, 27, who is based in Montreal, lodged a civil case against the NSO Group in Tel Aviv on Sunday, legal papers show. The opposition activist has said he learned that his phone had been hacked in August, some two months after he clicked on an infected link.

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A Saudi activist who regularly corresponded with slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi has sued an Israeli spyware firm . He claims the company helped the Saudi Khashoggi was murdered in October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The journalist ’ s killing has created an international scandal, with some

Jamal Khashoggi was killed after his Whatsapp messages critical of the Saudi Crown Prince were hacked using powerful 'Pegasus' spying software, claims Khashoggi , a critic of Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Turkey as he went to the consulate to collect divorce papers.

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The Citizen Lab, a University of Toronto project that investigates digital espionage aimed at civil society, concluded with “high confidence” that the Saudi government targeted his cellphone using Pegasus spyware created by NSO.

Before being notified that his phone had been hacked, Abdulaziz was in regular contact with Khashoggi, with whom he had struck up a friendship. Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section and a critic of the kingdom, was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 by members of a 15-man team from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has dismissed two senior officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, in connection with the killing but denies that the crown prince knew of the operation.

Saudi crown prince exchanged messages with aide alleged to have overseen Khashoggi killing

Saudi crown prince exchanged messages with aide alleged to have overseen Khashoggi killing Mohammed bin Salman communicated with Saud al-Qahtani in the hours before and after Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents, intelligence intercepts are said to show.

A friend of Jamal Khashoggi is suing the Israeli cyber company NSO, charging its "The hacking of my phone played a major role in what happened to Jamal, I am really sorry to say ," Abdelaziz told CNN Sunday. "The more victims he eats, the more he wants," Khashoggi in one message sent in May

Khashoggi friend sues Israeli firm over hacking he says contributed to the journalist ’ s murder . But such technologies are vulnerable to the hacking of the devices of individual targets where the calls and messages appear in decrypted form so their intended recipients can view or listen

The legal filing argues that the Israeli software provided the Saudis with knowledge of conversations between Abdulaziz and Khashoggi about projects they were working on. The sophisticated software enables the operator to access all information stored on a target’s phone and to secretly film or record audio.

“The details of this collaboration were known to the authorities in the Kingdom through the Pegasus system,” the court papers say.

The filing says Abdulaziz will argue that use of Pegasus spyware to expose his communications with Khashoggi contributed to the decision to murder him.

In their exchanges, Abdulaziz has said, Khashoggi asked him to help design a website advocating human rights in the Middle East and assist with a logo for a foundation Khashoggi planned to set up called Democracy for Arab World Now.

Khashoggi also discussed sending Abdulaziz funding for a project the two called “the bees,” which involved buying foreign SIM cards for activists in Saudi Arabia who wanted to open Twitter accounts critical of the government and feared being traced on their Saudi SIM cards.

Khashoggi was also directly critical of the crown prince in WhatsApp messages to Abdulaziz, according to images provided to The Post by Abdulaziz, describing him as a “pac-man” who devours his critics.

In a statement to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, the NSO group called the case “baseless” and said there is no evidence that its technology was used to hack Abdulaziz’s phone.

“NSO is a technology company that is uninvolved with how our products are used once they are sold to our customers,” it said. “This is a lawsuit based on sensationalist journalism.”

The NSO spyware also has been used to target two Saudi activists in London and an Amnesty International researcher, according to the Citizen Lab.

loveday.morris@washpost.com


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